Russia (Priests).

Oral Answers to Questions — League of Nations. – in the House of Commons on 14th November 1934.

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Photo of Mr David Mason Mr David Mason , Edinburgh East

10.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that Christian priests and exiles are suffering cruelty and death in Russia; and whether, in view of the fact that Russia has joined the League of Nations and become a party to the Covenant, he will, on behalf of this country, draw the attention of Russia to the obligation contained in Article 23, section (b), to the effect that members of the League undertake to secure just treatment of the native inhabitants of territories under their control?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

Instances of hardship suffered by priests in the Soviet Union have been brought to my notice. I do not think, however, that the section of the League Covenant quoted by the hon. Member is relevant to their case.

Photo of Mr David Mason Mr David Mason , Edinburgh East

Does the right hon. Gentleman remember that yesterday he said that Russia, when she entered the League, undertook all the obligations of the Covenant?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

Yes, Sir, and the point that I am now making is that this case does not come within those obligations.

Photo of Mr David Mason Mr David Mason , Edinburgh East

May I again ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will recall to his memory Article No. II of the Covenant, which states that it is the friendly right on the part of any Power to call the attention of another Power to a question of this nature?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

I do not think that question could possibly arise under Article II.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Wentworth

Does the right hon. Gentleman accept fully the statement made in the first part of the question?

Photo of Mr Anthony Eden Mr Anthony Eden , Warwick and Leamington

My reply was that instances of hardship suffered by priests of the Soviet Union have been brought to my notice.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Wentworth

I am asking whether the right hon. Gentleman accepts the full statement?

Photo of Mr David Mason Mr David Mason , Edinburgh East

In view of the unsatisfactory answer to the question, I beg to give notice that I shall take the earliest opportunity to raise the matter.